More of a love letter purportedly written by Jackie — the University of Virginia student who claimed she was gang-raped by a group of fraternity members — appears to have been plagiarized than previously believed.
On Thursday, The Daily Caller published an email which Jackie purportedly sent to a man named Haven Monahan, who the co-ed claimed to have gone on a date with on Sept. 28, 2012, the night she also says she was sexually assaulted at a fraternity house.
A person claiming to be Monahan then forwarded the email to Ryan Duffin, a friend and love interest of Jackie’s. It has come to light that Monahan most likely never existed — a development which, among other pieces of evidence, strongly suggests that Jackie fabricated the claim she was sexually assaulted.
After publication of the email on Thursday, TheDC followed up with a report that the first paragraph of Jackie’s letter was cribbed from an episode of the popular TV show Dawson’s Creek. (RELATED: Did UVA Student Plagiarize Dawson’s Creek?)
Now, a deeper look reveals that even more of the letter was copied from other sources.
Let us count the ways.
In her email, Jackie wrote of Duffin:
He’s gorgeous, but gorgeous is an understatement. More like you’re startled every time you see him because you notice something new in a Where’s Waldo sort of way. More like you can’t stop writing third grade run on sentences because you can’t even remotely begin to describe something, someone, so inherently amazing. More like you’re afraid that if you stare at him too long, you’ll prove your grandparents right that, yes, your face will get stuck that way…but you don’t mind.
Jackie appears to have taken most of that from a University of Massachusetts student named Matt Brochu who, in an article for the school paper, which was quoted in a 2004 Washington Post article titled “Boyfriend” by Libby Copeland, wrote:
She’s gorgeous, but gorgeous is an understatement. More like you’re startled every time you see her because you notice something new in a “Where’s Waldo” sort of way. More like you can’t stop writing third grade run-on sentences because you can’t remotely begin to describe something . someone . so inherently amazing. But you’re a writer. You can describe anything. That’s what you do: pictures to words, events to words, words to even better words. But nothing seems right. More like you’re afraid that if you stare at her for too long, you’ll prove your parents right: that yes, your face will stick that way. But you wouldn’t mind.
Jackie also wrote in her love letter:
The problem is I can’t shake these feelings I have for him, I try so damn hard, but they won’t go away.
A website of unattributed “Sad Love Quotes” has a similar line:
I can’t shake these feelings for you, I try so damn hard, but they won’t go away
Another phrase from Jackie’s letter appears to have been lifted from a book written by Jodi Picoult, a popular novelist. Jackie wrote:
When you like someone more than he likes you, you’ll do anything to switch the scales.
Picoult wrote, in 2005’s Vanishing Acts:
When you love someone more than he loves you, you’ll do anything to switch the scales.
Another sappy sentence Jackie’s email appears to have been taken from an episode of the TV show Scrubs. Jackie wrote:
I mean, if I had the chance of hanging out with anyone in the entire world or just sitting in my dorm with him talking about music and watching a crappy TV show…I‘d choose him everytime.
The Scrubs scene was similar. In it, one of the characters said to another:
If I had the choice of hanging out with anyone in the entire world or sitting at home with you eating pizza, watching a crappy TV show, I’d choose you every time.
Ryan has no idea what he does to me…he can make me feel more emotions in one second then I would normally feel in one year.
That line appears to be taken from a blog post written in 2007:
You have no idea what you do to me, you can make me feel more emotions in one second than I would normally feel in one year.
Jackie’s apparent plagiarism isn’t even the most egregious act of literary malfeasance in the entire fiasco. Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the 9,000-word Rolling Stone article detailing Jackie’s story, stands accused of journalistic misconduct and gross abuse of literary license.